American Bar Association
Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems

Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems

Recent Cases and Hot News

What Can Environmental Lawyers Expect from the New Trump Administration and Congress?
Non-CLE Webinar
February 14, 2017
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET

The year 2017 marks the beginning of what is sure to be a shift in federal environmental law and policy. How the federal government will address climate change, natural resource development, public lands conservation, energy, and countless other environmental and energy issues is more uncertain now than at any time in recent memory. While the objectives and priorities of the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress will likely be different than the objectives of the previous administration, can a sea-change occur overnight? What opportunities and limits exist for overturning existing laws and policies, and for writing and implementing new ones?

Join us for a webinar with our three distinguished panelists, who have written and lectured extensively on the prognosis for federal environmental law and policy over the next few years. Our panelists will offer their thoughts, focusing specifically on the likely fate of recent Obama administration rule and policy changes such as the Clean Power Plan, Public Land Planning 2.0, species mitigation, federal coal leasing, methane regulations for oil and gas. They will also answer questions from audience members.

Outcomes from COP 23 Climate Change Negotiations - What was Achieved and the Road to COP 24 in Poland
Committee Program Call
Sponsors: Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems; Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources; and the International Environmental and Resources Law Committees

Recorded on February 7, 2018
Listen to the recording

In November 2017, the international community gathered in Bonn, Germany at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) to continue the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As the world celebrated the one year anniversary of the Paris Agreement's entry into force, it is still grappling with the implications of the U.S. administration's announced intention to withdraw from the treaty. COP23 also made history with Fiji being the first small island developing state to hold the Presidency of the COP. This committee call will bring together experts to discuss the outcomes of the negotiations, the role of non-state participation in the COP and the trend towards increasing private investment in climate solutions. We will also report back on progress on the upcoming deadlines at COP 24 in Poland to finalize elements of the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement and what that means for countries, states and companies.

Recent Cases and Hot News

If you have a Hot News item that you would like posted, please sent it to Elizabeth Stevens or Jameson Tweedie.

Updated: 08/01/16


Recent Releases

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Second Edition

Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, Editors

This comprehensive examination of U.S. law as it relates to climate change completely updates and reconsiders material from the prior edition while adding extensive new material. Recognizing that climate change is largely an energy problem, a new section addresses energy regulation.

Order now. Log in to see special Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources member price of $89.95.

Click here to learn more.

Message from the Co-Chairs

The co-chairs and vice chairs of the Committee encourage you to become actively involved in our programs and discussions and welcome you to enjoy the benefits of Committee membership. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the activities of the Committee, would like to become more involved with the projects we plan to undertake this year, or if you are interested in initiating a project not listed here.

Climate Change: Climate change continues to be a source of rapid developments in environmental law. Over the course of 2013 and 2014, EPA will propose new source performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing sources. These rulemakings will have significant impacts on the electric power generation sector and raise a number of important legal questions. There are also a range of other executive branch activities on greenhouse gases and climate change. Litigation related to these issues continues, including a recent grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court and pending cases in the D.C. Circuit and other courts of appeals.

Sustainable Development: The ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution on sustainability, and a presidential-level ABA task force was established to carry out the implementation of the resolution. The Committee worked with the Task Force. The Committee also continues to work to identify ways that lawyers can better advise clients on sustainability issues.

Social Media: The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources has a limited number of dedicated pages for subgroups on LinkedIn, and CCSDE was selected as one of those pages. We encourage all members of the Committee to join the group on LinkedIn and to join our conversations. We post useful information and updates and have had some great exchanges of views on the page. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your colleagues and contacts in this subject area as well.

Electronic Communications: The Committee will continue to regularly update this webpage with developments of interest, as well as continue sending updates to our members via the committee list serve and periodic e-mails on climate change, sustainable development and ecosystems news items. We hope this will keep our members abreast of recent developments in the field.

Programs and Public Service: The Committee will continue to develop excellent programming, including proposals for the Section Fall Conference and Spring Conference, regional programming, and responsive Committee Program Calls, and webinars.

Committee Newsletter:
The Committee plans to publish four quarterly newsletters during the coming year. If you are interested in submitting an article or have an idea you would like to discuss, please contact our Newsletter Vice Chairs.

The Year In Review: Each year, the Committee contributes a section on climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems to the ABA SEER The Year in Review. This publication provides an excellent summary of the most significant events in the field. If you are interested in working on The Year in Review for our Committee, please contact our The Year in Review Vice Chairs.

Contact information for all committee vice chairs is located here.

Committee Information

50 State Survey –A Complimentary Supplement to Chapter 11: The State Response to Climate Change, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND U.S. LAW, 2ND (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, eds)

This comprehensive 602 page survey has been prepared by Kelly Nishikawa, Benjamin Lowenthal and other students at Pace Law School’s Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, under the oversight of the Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs, Laura Jensen. This very valuable reference document accompanies Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Second Edition (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, eds, 2014), available online at the ABA webstore. It compiles state legislation, rules and executive orders that specifically address climate change as of the end of April 2014. It also includes a wide variety of state activities that may have an impact on greenhouse gases including legislation related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The focus of this material is to provide readers with an understanding of the range of state activity that may contribute to greenhouse gas reduction and climate change. Some types of energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation (such as tax credits for hybrid vehicles) are very similar from state to state; some laws have a short duration and therefore may not be codified (such as temporary tax credits); energy legislation is being enacted at an increasing pace. As a result, not all energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation and other activity in every state are included in this compilation.

View the survey >>
Purchase the book >>


Welcome to the homepage of the Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee (CCSDE). Our committee is a cross-practice committee within the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Our goal is to make the Committee a premier source of information and a forum for discussion on the law and policies related to climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems. The coming year will be a very exciting one in these fields and our Committee will continue to be on the forefront of new developments.


Social Media

Add to the discussion though our commitee LinkedIn group! Join the group!

Committee Communications/ List Serve

The primary way that the Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems committee disseminates information is through our List Serve, which is distributed to all Committee members. Please feel free to contact the Committee members with any questions or to share information regarding recent developments in the field of climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems by using the list serve. The list serve address for the committee is (You must be a member to use this list serve.)

Join Us

Committee Chair(s)


Martin, Marisa
Smithson, Stephen

Committee Roster  

2017-2018 Climate Change Committee Leadership

View the full roster of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee leadership.

View Committee Newsletters

An archive of the committee's past newsletters is available.

Committee Events

Section Events

Links of Interest

Other Links of Interest

Modified by Dana Jonusaitis on February 28, 2018

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